Balkan Conference on the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

October 5–8, 2017, at the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje

The Balkan Conference on the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is one of the few academic conferences in the Balkans commemorating the Reformation and will be bringing together scholars and students from over 15 nations (see representative map below). The speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia is hosting the conference in the new facilities of the Assembly (Parliament).


  • To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and its effects on European culture.
  • To highlight the history and impact of the Protestant Reformation in the Balkans.
  • To encourage cooperation and resource sharing among institutions in the study of Protestantism and its effects in the Balkans.

Organizing Institutions*:

  • The Institute of National History, Republic of Macedonia
  • The Institute for the Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of the Albanians in Macedonia
  • The Balkan Institute of Faith and Culture
  • The Institute for Albanian and Protestant Studies

Participating Institutions:

  • The University of Tirana, Faculty of History and Philology
  • The Society of Albanian Historians in Macedonia
  • South East European University, Max van der Stoel Institute, Macedonia
  • The University of Prishtina, Faculty of Philosophy

Speakers and topics (in alphabetical order):

  1. Dr. Max Baker-Hytch, Oxford University
  2. Assoc. prof.dr. Konstantinos Giakoumis (University of New York, Tirana), Greece — “The Influence of Protestant Reformation Art on Orthodox Art in Albania, a Preliminary Approach”
  3. Benjamin Hlastan, M.Div. (apologist and Primoz Trubar expert), Slovenia and Vinko Ošlak (author, essayist, translator, columnist), Austria — “Primus Truber: An Inspirational Challenge of a Forgotten Reformer for a Contemporary World”
  4. Dr. David Hosaflook (Institute for Albanian and Protestant Studies), USA — “Protestant Missionaries in the Balkans: Purposes, Policies, and Perceptions”
  5. Joshua Irby (the Sarajevo Miss Irby Initiative), Bosnia — “The Protestant Contribution to Education in 19th Century Bosnia-Hercegovina as seen in the work of Adeline Paulina Irby”
  6. Jovan Jonovski (Ph.D. cand., Institute of National History), Macedonia — “The British and Foreign Bible Society and Macedonia”
  7. Prof.dr. Xhevat Lloshi (linguist, Tirana), Albania — “Translation of the New Testament into Albanian in a Balkan Perspective”
  8. Prof.dr. Muhamet Mala (Professor of Religion, University of Prishtina), Kosovo
  9. Dr. Kosta Milkov (Balkan Institute for Faith and Culture), Macedonia
  10. Georgeta Nazarska (State University of Library Studies and IT, Sofia), Bulgaria — “Graduates of the Protestant School for Girls at Samokov in the Bulgarian Social Modernization”
  11. Dr. Wolfgang Nestvogel (Bekennenden Evangelischen Gemeinde Hannover), Germany
  12. Asst. Prof.dr. Anton Panchev (Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”), Bulgaria — “The Albanian Protestant Movement and Bulgaria at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century”
  13. Dr Dimitrije Popadić (Protestant Theological Seminary, Novi Sad), Serbia
  14. Dr. John Quanrud, (Institute for Albanian and Protestant Studies), United Kingdom — “Paying the price: Gerasim Kyrias and the personal cost of social engagement”
  15. Prof. Albert Ramaj, Albanisches Institut, Switzerland — “The Kortcha Protestant School according to Austrian Sources”
  16. Dr. Svetla Shapkalova (State University of Library Studies and IT, Sofia) Bulgaria — “Protestant Translation of the Bible in Modern Bulgaria”
  17. Prof. Dr. Ömer Turan (Middle East Technical University, Ankara), Turkey — “Mary Matthews and the Girls School in Monastir”
  18. As. prof. Devrim Umit (Karabuk University, Ankara), Turkey — “Robert College of Istanbul: Setting the Pattern for American Mission Schools in the Near East”
  19. Other individuals and institutions have been invited and will be listed here only when confirmed

Desired Outcomes:

  • The presentation of new research on a field of Balkan historiography which has not been well studied
  • Excellent and interesting presentations
  • The publication of papers in the conference proceedings
  • Identification of new fields of research
  • Discussion, cooperation and networking among individuals and institutions

Breadth of topics and events to be treated:

  • Overview of the Reformation and how it changed the world
  • The Balkans between the simultaneous rise of the Ottoman Empire and Protestant Reformation
  • Protestant missionary efforts in the Balkans in the 19th-20th centuries
  • Protestant contributions to the development of education and literacy in the Balkans
  • Principles for modern-day reform: What makes reformations helpful or damaging?
  • Printing and periodicals in the Balkans
  • The Bible and literacy in the Balkans
  • The 19th-20th century American Protestant educational movement in the Ottoman Empire and the Balkans
  • The political engagement of Protestant missionaries in the Balkans
  • The cultural and social effects of bringing liturgy, hymns, and preaching into the vernacular
  • Sketches of prominent figures in Protestant history, especially local figures (educators, linguists, preachers, teachers, etc.)

* The Steering Committee for this conference is comprised of David Hosaflook (Institute for Albanian and Protestant Studies); Dragi Gjorgiev (The Institute of National History, Republic of Macedonia); Skender Asani (The Institute for the Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of the Albanians in Macedonia); and Kosta Milkov (Balkan Institute for Faith and Culture).

Dates and deadlines:

  • May 9, 2017 – Official Call for Papers issued
  • June 20, 2017 – Abstracts for papers must be submitted
  • September 1, 2017 – Papers must be submitted so they may be edited for publication
  • October 6-8, 2017 – Conference

Cultural Events:
We intend to include music and artistic events as part of the conference – the web site will be updated as these are determined definitively.

Nations represented at the conference.